Zainab Alert app launched to report lost children
KARACHI: Sindh’s police chief on Tuesday launched the Zainab Alert app at the Central Police Office (CPO) in a simple ceremony that was attended by senior officials of all the departments concerned, civil society members, police officials, Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) officials and volunteers.
The Sindh police spokesman said that while addressing the gathering, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Mahar highlighted the importance and need of such an app to save the lives of the future generations through the use of modern information & communications technology (ICT) to address the existing social issues.
IGP Mahar said the team behind the project has made every effort to make this app user-friendly and has not used anything from the public money.
He hoped that more such apps will soon be added in the Zainab Alert System to address other problems, such as checking vehicles on the go and using ICT to identify criminals through facial recognition, artificial intelligence and machine-learning features.
The police chief said the efforts of the young engineers behind the project have been recognised and letters of appreciation will be provided to the entire team, adding that the police headquarters will facilitate them to produce more results.
‘No bugs’: The CPLC chief told the gathering about the joint venture, saying that the police, the liaison committee and volunteers from the Invent Lab had taken the initiative to join the CPLC’s research & development team to create the Zainab Alert app to report missing and found children.
He said the app had been tested thoroughly in the past many months at the CPO and the CPLC by a dedicated team of experts to ensure that there was no bug in the operation of the alert system prior to its formal launch.
He also said the Zainab Alert app is on a par with similar systems being used in the First World, adding that Zainab Alert is the starting point of a series of apps that will be launched one by one.
The CPLC chief said that so far they are focusing on speedy reporting of missing and unidentified (found) children, adding that work on Android, iOS and web versions is under way.
Mentioning the recent passage of the Zainab Alert, Response & Recovery Act by both houses of parliament, he said the Zainab Alert app will fulfil the requirement of establishing a Zainab Alert system to report missing children, including the maintaining of a database across Pakistan.
He added that he is confident that after the launch of the app from Karachi, it will soon be launched nationwide. He also highlighted the need to work on a massive post-launch media promotion of the app for awareness so that it can be used by as many people as possible to serve the country.
The project coordinator gave a detailed presentation on the project. He said the app is multi-linguistic. The ceremony was told that the app’s launch proves that many social problems can be solved by us without using public money. The coordinator recommended that all non-governmental organisations, non-profit organisations and other bodies share their records and details of progress to avoid duplication of the efforts on the same tasks.
Cdr (retd) Liaquat Ali of the Pakistan Navy thanked all his team members, the CPLC and the CPO on achieving the goal. The ceremony ended with the formal inauguration of the Zainab Alert app by the IGP.